Why ‘Taboos’ On Anal Sex Endanger ‘Women’s Generation’: Doctors

Anal sex is no longer the taboo sex it used to be – especially among heterosexual women.

Indeed, the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Health Statistics show that more than a third – 35% – of women aged 15 to 49 have attempted anal sex with a male partner.

Those numbers, from a survey of more than 5,500 women between 2015 and 2019, are rising — perhaps a lot, depending on who you ask. A similar survey of 880 “sexually active adults,” conducted by doctor-led butt health brand Future Method, found that 70% of women have tried anal sex at least once.

In the spirit of a new era of sexual exploration and health awareness, a duo of surgical researchers published an editorial in the BMJ this week urging more clinicians to talk to women about the potential risks of anal sex — especially for those who pressured by their partners to do so.

“Doctors may shy away from these discussions, influenced by society’s taboos,” Tabitha Gana and Lesley Hunt, colorectal and advisory surgeons respectively, wrote to the UK’s National Health System. “By avoiding these discussions, we may be disappointing a generation of young women who are unaware of the risks.”

Physicians and health professionals, especially those in primary care and family medicine, “have a duty to recognize changes in society surrounding anal sex in young women, and to respond to these changes with open, neutral and non-judgmental conversations to ensure ensure that all women have the information they need to make informed choices about sex,” the colleagues wrote.

Silence on the albeit sensitive subject, they continued, “exposes women to missed diagnoses, pointless treatment and further harm from lack of medical advice.”

Gana and Hunt referenced a national survey of British women that set out the top reasons why they have tried anal sex, including curiosity and personal pleasure. Unfortunately, for about a quarter of women, pressure from their male partners has played a major role. Meanwhile, the US is expected to reflect similar trends.

“The pain and bleeding that women report after anal sex is indicative of trauma, and the risks may increase if anal sex is enforced,” they wrote.

Anal sex can be safe and enjoyable for many, but the authors cautioned that there are anatomical features for women that pose other risks, such as incontinence, because of their “less robust” sphincter and weaker anal canal muscles compared to men. That’s one of the reasons women engaged in the act show an increased rate of fecal incontinence and anal injury.

The surgeons point out that a majority of patient medical literature regarding anal sex focuses on sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, herpes and HPV — which can lead to certain cancers — but the above-mentioned physiological risks and emotional toll lack of compulsion.

In the absence of clinical guidance, women are looking to an “abundance of non-medical or pseudo-medical websites to fill the health information void,” some of which may “increase societal pressure to try anal sex,” rather than help women “informed.” decisions,” the authors said.

“Television shows like ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Fleabag’ can unwittingly add to the pressure, as they seem to normalize anal sex in heterosexual relationships or make it look spicy and daring,” she added.

Aside from embarrassment or stigma, the doctors are urging clinicians to overcome the fear of coming across as “judgmental” or even “homophobic” by voicing these concerns in patients — and insisting that resources are available. for them to learn how to approach the subject in a conscientious manner.

“With better information, women who want anal sex could more effectively protect themselves from potential harm, and those who reluctantly agree to anal sex to meet society’s expectations or to please partners may feel better able to say no.” to say,” Gana and Hunt conclude.

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